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Gimmick or Good? – Wolverine Loses His Adamantium (X-Men #25/Wolverine #75)

In this column, Mark Ginocchio (from Chasing Amazing) takes a look at the gimmick covers from the 1990s and gives his take on whether the comic in question was just a gimmick or whether the comic within the gimmick cover was good. Hence “Gimmick or Good?” Here is an archive of all the comics featured so far. We continue with 1993′s hologram covers for X-Men #25 and Wolverine #75…

XMen25_coverw75

X-Men #25 (published October 1993) – script by Fabian Nicieza, pencils by Andy Kubert, inks by Matthew Ryan; and Wolverine #75 (November 1993) – script by Larry Hama, art by Adam Kubert, Mark Farmar, Dan Green and Mark Pennington

In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Uncanny X-Men #1, Marvel published six giant-sized commemorative comics (one for every “X” title) in 1993 each with a special holographic panel on the cover (the comics also all featured wraparound covers). The comics were all part of the “Fatal Attractions” arc, which saw the return of Magneto and his Acolytes and a number of status quo changes in the X-Men universe. But the most famous development to emerge from “Fatal Attractions” involved the world’s most celebrated mutant Canuck, Wolverine. With his new movie opening this weekend, I thought it was apropos to focus on the two installments of this arc that focused on Mr. Logan.

But what about inside the comics?

Like my review of Green Lantern #50, I have a sneaking suspicion that no matter which way I go with my verdict of these two comics, I’m going to inevitably tick off a contingent of X-Men/Wolverine fans. By late 1993 when “Fatal Attractions” was published, it had basically become a tired act for comic book publishers to use “special edition” issues to shake up a character or super-team. In the case of X-Men #25, Wolverine is brought to the brink of death when Magneto shockingly rips the adamantium from his adamantium-laced skeleton from his body (in a storyline, as Brian Cronin reported on this site years, was pitched as a joke by Peter David for the “X-Cutioner’s Song” arc). In Wolverine #75, Logan fights for life, and after miraculously surviving the attack, discovers his retractable claws are actually part of his skeleton (thus giving him bone claws).

As David himself tells the story, having Magneto rip out the adamantium from Wolverine’s skeleton is both an incredibly pragmatic thing for a villain to do to an adversary, and a monumentally terrible idea if the creative team insists on having Logan survive the attack. Sure, Wolverine has a “healing factor” which can conveniently explain away all kinds of plot contrivance, but how can one feasibly justify why Logan can survive getting an entire skeleton’s worth of metal yanked from his body all at once?

WolverineFatal_01

And yet, I found myself very entertained by this story. There are still some things that annoy me – like how even without Chris Claremont weighing down the 90s-riffic splash pages with Shakespearean blocks of text, Nicieza’s Magneto still manages to orate like Claudius screwing over Hamlet after committing this most heinous act against Wolverine. “Now, play the insolent; now plunder the God’s privileges and give them to creatures of a day.” Oh, Magneto, you can’t just say, “Die, Wolverine! Die!” can you? But as all the creative forces in the room told David the day he made his joking pitch – that visual of Wolverine coming apart at the seams is phenomenal. And Nicieza’s note that Wolverine “doesn’t scream. Indeed, he doesn’t even have time,” is a nice little detail that demonstrates the severity of this situation while preserving some of Logan’s best at what he does swagger.

If anything, I’m more perturbed by the shocking heel turn by Professor X in X-Men #25. After Magneto rips out Wolverine’s adamantium from his skeleton, Xavier gets back at his long-time nemesis by aggressively invading his mind, sending Magneto into a coma. Xavier has always struck me as one of the few unquestioned “good guys” in comics, so watching him abuse Magneto in such a way – even if it prevented future deaths as the Professor surmises – doesn’t justify the behavior.

In Wolverine #75, I really enjoyed Adam Kubert’s interpretation of Wolverine’s unconscious mind – as Xavier and Jean Grey are both psychically working to keep Logan’s healing factor working and revealing snippets of Wolverine’s tortured past in the process, like his time with the Weapon X Project.

WolverineFatal_02

In terms of narrative structure, Hama does a good job keeping the focus on the titular character, while also weaving the larger “Fatal Attractions” storyline in and out. The X-Men’s ship, Blackbird, encounters turbulence as it makes it way back to Earth to treat Wolverine, endangering the entire crew. Hama switches back and forth without dwelling too much on the Blackbird’s plight and keeping attention squarely on the most interesting character in the arc.

There’s a trite “Wolverine goes to the light” sequence in this comic, though Logan’s conversation with Xavier saves it from being a total cliché. Wolverine talks about hearing music and the end of “loneliness and sorrow,” but is much more matter-of-fact when Professor X tells him that what he’s hearing/seeing is his death: “Aww Charlie … Don’t ya think I know that?” Logan says. I enjoyed that Wolverine’s sarcasm was able to shine through even in a moment of total and utter resignation.

WolverineFatal_03

Wolverine does indeed survive his injuries, and does so just in time to save Jean from being sucked out of the Blackbird. Back at the academy, after a few weeks have passed, Wolverine is itching to get back to training, when the bone claw discovery is made.

I know by this point there are like 478 mutants at Xavier’s school but I just found this page could have done with far fewer reaction bubbles. I get that Hama is just trying to capture the utter shock of the group when this revelation is made, but for me, this is definitely one of those occasions where less would have been more. Maybe just one or two reactions establishing the plot twist – “Wolverine has bone claws!” – and then let the art tell the rest of the story. It helps that like the adamantium sequence from X-Men, the art team here creates a pretty stirring image here.

WolverineFatal_04

So, while these two chapters of “Fatal Attractions” undoubtedly had their share of flaws, I also found this story oddly compelling. After reading some of the other chapters in the arc, the Wolverine storyline is definitely the highlight. It goes to show that even Peter David’s bad ideas have some promise, as long as the reader is able to suspend all belief regarding inconsequential things like human biology.

Verdict: Good

55 Comments

Anonymous2 aka Saul Goode

July 26, 2013 at 2:13 pm

While Fatal Attractions is a decent story imho, it admittedly has its flaws. Still, I liked these issues, I thought the Xavier/Magneto/Wolverine reckoning was a long time coming, and the conclusion was exciting. Hama’s follow-up to X-Men 25 is perhaps the second best issue of the cross-over for all of the reason’s you stated (X-Force’s tie-in is the best, and honestly, you could have been just reading X-Force at the time and the issue would stand on its own. Seriously, the post Liefeld issues by Nicieza and Capullo are worth a look). It’s actually kind of weird, because after this Hama and Kubert went on to have a very strong period on Wolverine with the bone claws. It isn’t until Marvel forces the Savage iteration of the character on Hama w/ issue 100 (which I’m sure you’ll be covering in a future installment) that things start to go downhill fast for the book.

Overall, a fair and balanced review of these issues. I have to admit, my first opinions of this series were decidedly wrong, and I take back any ill-advised insults I may have made.

Sam Robards, Comic Fan

July 26, 2013 at 2:23 pm

I was wondering when we’d get around to these! Your timing’s incredible.

I haven’t read these in years, but I’ll be damned if those two images (Wolvie getting the adamantium ripped outta him and the bone claw reveal) aren’t two of the most striking and defining Wolverine images there are.

As far as I’m concerned, that time period was the height of the Kubert bros. artistic prowess. Andy still does good work, but Adam seems to have embraced the sketchier nature of his dad’s style (in terms of line usage), which I’m not crazy about.

On the writing side, Claremont and Hama really defined what Wolverine sounds like to me (in terms of speaking mannerisms). I don’t know why, but he just doesn’t “sound” quite right when written by anyone else.

Though not Wolverine-related, I did like the X-Force tie-in where Magneto totally wrecks Cable. That was Greg Capullo, wasn’t it?

Anonymous2 aka Saul Goode

July 26, 2013 at 2:32 pm

@ Sam

Yup, it was his last issue, and considering he had like 5 inkers, it actually looks pretty good. I think he went out with a bang after having a pretty good yet short run on the book, probably the best the book’s ever had as a full-time penciller.

I liked 75-88ish, but once he went feral and his nose fell off, it all fell apart. I did like the Anthony Winn art, though.

I hate this comic more than words can possibly express. This was one of the WORST X-Men related comics of the 90s, and by extension of all time.

I can see no possible justification for calling this “good” unless this is a prank or the site’s been hacked or something.

I’m not so crazy about these issues, but it did set up a just brilliant period for Wolverine and crack open the door for more “dark Xavier” stories from here. What I recall from reading these was that this was the first time as a comic reader is really felt Magneto was a global scale threat. Iirc these issues showed that Shield had a Magneto protocol.

The main thing I do like here is the early use of computer coloring was much more subtle than it was in the later ’90s. It blended in as seamlessly as hand colored pages back then. They’ve pullled back a bit in recent years, so even though comics are still computer colored they look a little more natural. But compare these pages to what was coming out of Marvel around “Onslaught” or so … man world’s apart.

X-Men #25 was my first comic and, for me, it’s still a pretty high bar for any other to try to beat. Living in Australia I had to get this from a newspaper shop, and they never carried the Wolverine title or any of the other Fatal Attractions crossovers, so the next issue I got was “Part 2″ of the “Bloodties” crossover that happened right after, which was more focused on the whole “Acolytes fighting for power now that Magneto’s gone” stuff, with the Avengers. Thanks for bringing the rest of the repercussions into the light for me.

Also, the “not having bones” thing never made much sense to me since the only origin story for Wolverine I knew at the time was from the animated series, which seemed to indicate the adamantium more “coating” his bones, rather than replacing them. So by removing the metal (which is the only thing Magento had the power to affect) then his normal bones remain. Really, if we can accept that his healing factor was the only thing that allowed him to survive the operation in the FIRST place, then what’s so hard to believe about his healing factor allowing him to survive the process going the other way?

PLUS I just LOVED all of the faux-Shakespere going on in X-Men #25. Pietro’s anger at his father, Rogue’s concern for the men she loves and Jean’s pain at watching the man she loves, but can never be with, brought to his knees like never before.

That was totally how I wanted X3 to end. THAT would have made “The Wolverine” a whole different movie.

Raiko is right, no one ever said Wolverine’s bones were MADE of adamantium, but they were coated in the metal.

As much as I dislike the 1990′s X-Men in general, there were some good moments in Fatal Attractions– most notably involving Colossus, whose defection was well developed. Peter joined Magneto because after the death of his family he could no longer believe in Xavier’s impotent attempts at integration, but once he saw what Magneto was going to do, he allowed the X-Men a stealthy entrance into Avalon because he realized he’d backed the wrong side. Then, after Magneto was mindwiped, he chose to stay behind and care for the vegetative Master of Magnetism as atonement.

This seems to be a trend with Peter; he does whatever he thinks is right, regardless of the consequences to himself or his reputation. See also; easily being brainwashed into the pro-Commie “Proletariat” in the first Arcade storyline, becoming the Juggernaut in the Fear Itself tie-in, sticking with Cable’s outlaw team in the current X-Force.

I liked this issue then, and I still like it now. Back when Wolverine was awesome and a loner.
You forgot to say that Wolverine left X-Men in this issue, which was something truly shocking back then.
Also, you are too nitpick about the page with bone claws. It works good.

Gosh, I hate 1990s X-Men. The art is all but intolerable, the writing is cliched to the point of intoxication.

Yeah, Claremont always made a habit of reminding readers the Wolvie’s bones were only LACED with adamantium (And that he was extremely heavy for someone so short).

This was one of my favorite comics of all time growing up, and as an artist it was definitely a huge inspiration. I never cared much for Wolverine, but something about him having bone claws and a compromised immune system really made me enjoy him, and for the first time ever I actually picked up his solo series (The issue where Cyber breaks his bone claws was a personal favorite). Plus, it makes perfect sense that Magneto would do this to Logan – They had been adversaries for over 20 years, why the hell didn’t Magneto just decimate Wolvie the first time they met? (I know, I know, Comics Code)

Wolverine is one of those characters (Like Superman) who has the potential to be WAY too powerful, so by having him lose his edge and bringing him down to a more human level it made him a lot more interesting. Compare that to now, where his healing factor seems to be working in overdrive and he’s a killing machine and it actually makes him more boring.

Sadly, no one focuses on Cable being ripped apart by Magneto in X-Force. That was a huge shock when I first read that issue because it showed Magneto did it once and he could always do it again.

Wow, that is some 1990s right there. I’m gonna go wash my eyes out.

I’ll grant Xavier had the “unquestioned good guy” thing going on in much of the 1990′s, but his early appearances are entirely consistent with the egomaniac he’s been portrayed as in recent years.

Hell, even the 1990′s X-Men cartoon had him using Holocaust trauma against Magneto in their first encounter.

Just read X-Men 25 over my daughter’s nap. It’s perhaps a bit overwrought, but I think it still stands up pretty well. Interesting mix of characters on the mission for sure. It’s still a little shocking to see how far Xavier was willing to go in defeating Magneto. Any theories why they usually reference either the Leningrad sub or Xorneto’s NY attack when going over Magneto’s crimes instead of the pulse wave in this issue? Is it because most of the general public didn’t know he did it?

These issues came out at more or less the apex of my fevered teenaged zeal for the X-Men, so as a result, I carry a fair amount of fondness for them. I still remember with fondness just how much of a big deal the events of this story felt like as a kid. I’ve re-read them several times through the years, and despite their flaws (many of which are products of their time) they still hold up reasonably well.

I much preferred Claremont’s storyline for removing Wolverine’s adamantium. He used to tell the story at book signings, about the big storyline he wanted to do, but which Marvel refused to allow because they felt that Wolverine’s adamantium was too central to his character, and because Claremont’s idea both would take Wolverine out of circulation for a year and would have him return as (albeit only temporarily) a villain.

The idea, for those that don’t know it, is that Wolverine would be killed. The version I recall hearing from Claremont was that Lady Deathstrike would rip out his heart, though I’ve heard others recite a different cause. Wolverine would be buried, but it would turn out that he wasn’t actually dead. Instead, he would be in a death-like coma as his body became overloaded trying to keep him alive while rebuilding his heart. His healing going into overdrive would also purge the adamantium from his body.

Wolverine would be “dead” and out of circulation for a year to sell the impact of the event. His return would be through the Hand digging him up to revive him as a mind-controlled assassin. He’d stay in that state for a while, before finally having his mind restored and finally becoming a hero again..

There was also no bone claws silliness. Instead, Wolverine would be more like Sabretooth, with his fingernails growing into claws during his interment. He’d still have his regeneration, and an abnormally dense bone structure which combined would let him still take a beating, but he wouldn’t be the completely unstoppable all-powerful guy that he’d been when he had his adamantium.

[...] holographic panels to the cover of all five of its X-Men books). The two comics I look at are X-Men #25 and Wolverine #75, aka the issues where Magneto rips Wolvie’s adamantium skeleton out of his body and after [...]

I don’t think that Wolverine was being sarcastic, I think he was saying he was ready to die.

And the speech bubbles were like four or five people talking over each other, not every single mutant there talking

Xavier has always been a manipulative bastard, going back to the original Lee & Kirby issues. How many times did he tamper with the minds of innocent people for some supposed greater good and no one raised a single objection? How about all the secrets he kept over the years, such as how he wasn’t really dead but in hiding to prepare to fight the Z’Nox invasion, or never telling the X-Men about Moira MacTaggart & Muir Isle? Yet when Xavier decides to mindwipe Magneto literally seconds after he nearly killed Wolverine in an extremely brutal manner, now all of a sudden we are supposed to be appalled? To be perfectly honest, compared to some of the other extremely dodgy stuff Xavier pulled over the years, I found his actions in X-Men #25 to be one of the least ethically questionable things he’s ever done.

This is one of my favorite features on this site, maybe my favorite. You get some historical context about the comic in question and then a good dissection of the story. Even the comments are good!

Also, and perhaps it’s just the 90s artwork, but Wolverine looks like he fell off the ugly tree and hit every branch.

This has been, ever since it was released, one of my favorite storylines – even if the eventual fallout from it was rather bad (the Onslaught storyline). While the real level of Logan’s accelerated healing factor has had many ups and downs, in many ways you couldn’t help but feel like he could survive anything. Then this happened. When the X-men #25 closes, you really don’t know if he’s going to make it or not – especially since you figure a character like Wolverine would get a longer death scene than many. And then while Charles is in his mind you do understand a part of Logan really does want to let go of his hold on life (the moment when an vision of Illyana pushes him back from the brink after he’s given himself over is painful).

And I’m going to go ahead and say it. The sick romantic in me always loved the idea of him near death, but still hearing people screaming Jean’s name (as she’s about to get sucked out the damaged Blackbird) causes our favorite canucklehead to shake it off for her.

Hate, hate, HATE the bone claws. can we get a retcon back to them being added during the experiment? I always dug Brian Cox’s line in X2 about how Logan was always an animal, “I just gave you claws”.

Anonymous2 aka Saul Goode

July 29, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Not really understanding the hate on the art, I’ve always thought the Kuberts from this period were pretty good (although I like them much better around their Ultimate X-Men run). Yeah, it’s cross-hatched and from the 90s, but that stuff can look good and here I think it does. When it comes to 90s pencillers, I’ll take these brothers over Jim Lee any day.

Okay, I haven’t finished reading the article or the comments, but I got to the part about how he should be a pile of meat with no bones. That’s just wrong. The admantium was bonded to his skeleton, so he still had a regular skeleton without it. It’s not like he was born with no skeleton and went without one until weaponX put an adamantium one in him. And since Magneto manipulates metal and not bone, then he would not be pulling out the bone parts too. He would only be removing the adamantium that was bonded to the bone. At worst it might damage the bone while being removed, but that’s covered by the super healing factor if it even did.

So far as the bone claw reveal. While it wasn’t stated, it was hinted at in the Weapon X mini, when they were doing the admantium bonding and noted that a large amount of it was automatically being directed to his arms, which surprised the techs. They also didn’t implant any claws in him. Of course that is a small retcon from earlier art. While they never said that the claws were added (rather than just admantium bonded on bone claws) damage to his forearms did show springs and mechanics.

Honestly I can still read these two now and be impressed. I really felt like everyone had something to lose. I have to tell you, without a doubt, Logan coming back to pull Jean back inside was my moment from the two. Not to say there weren’t great moments throughout, but yeah, that was just Hama gold.

Why on Earth does this storyline require a particular suspension of disbelief regarding human biology? That seems completely arbitrary. We have consciousness-transfers, gamma-ray powered strength/mass increasers, and canisters of gas that make you big or small. Really, this is a trivial leap… no more eye-rolling than bulletproof skin, which is a staple of the genre.

Just go with it. It was cool. Dunno why 90s comics had to be so full of 80s hair metal ‘dos, but that’s another issue.

Good Lord, all of those examples of horrid artwork.

I don’t really follow the outrage/hate for the bone claws.

I always questioned the idea that he’d suddenly develop retractable claws as a side-effect of an operation designed to lace him with an unbreakable skeleton. Seems to me that the bone claws fill that plot point nicely, and fit with the animalistic/heightened senses aspect of his mutation. Making him have “natural claws” makes a lot more sense than having them spontaneously appear after the adamantium operation.

The bone claws are logical and whoever thought of that deserves kudos. Now, I never liked the Image-influenced storytelling and had stopped reading Marvel at that point.

Gavin Bell Johnson is right!
I too hate the “bone claws”, I always regarded it as cowardice on the part of Marvel that they didn’t have the claws go away along with the rest of the Adamantium. We all knew that the Adamantium was coming back eventually, so it would have been great to see how Wolverine would have had to fair with just his senses and healing factor. There could have been a great storyline where Logan has to get used to NOT being unbreakable. Perhaps he would have turned back to his Shogun ways and started carrying a sword? Perhaps he would have turned back to his mercenary ways and started going out all Punisher-style? Maybe he would have mutated claws like Sabretooth has? Maybe all three? There was a lot Marvel could have done with that if he didn’t keep the claws, but they decided to go the chicken route.

Wolverine’s bones are laced with adamantium, not made from it.

Research is the basis of journalism.

Also, commentators, Wolverine didn’t lose his nose (or whatever) until Genesis tried to re-install the adamantium grafts in Wolverine #100 and failed.

Brian, they DID do a storyline where Wolverine had to deal with being more vulnerable and not unbreakable. Yes, even with those “evil” bone claws. That’s why he left the X-Men,…he knew he was no longer the man he needed to be for the team. They may have objected, but he felt differently. He left the team so he could relearn how to be himself with these new limitations. His claws got broken, his bones got broken, and new problems arose in his life when his healing powers got too powerful and began to mutate him further.

The removal of the adamantium made him lose confidence in himself and removed him from his “family for a long time, at least until right up to the events leading to the Age of Apocalypse.

So they did deal with it. Sure, they didn’t turn him into a Punisher style hero…probably because the Punisher isn’t a hero and they already had Frank and saw no need to make Wolverine redundant, especially around that time when I think the Punisher books were going through a bit of a hard time.

Even with the supposed “chicken” route, they told stories of Wolverine dealing with the fact he was not this unstoppable beserker anymore. His bones could break and he had limits thrust upon him. While it’s fine to not like the idea of bone claws, to ignore that they did in fact tell the kind of story you wanted is wrong-headed. It just wasn’t the way you liked it, which is fine.

I remember my teenage self actually having tears in my eyes reading that letter Logan leaves Jubilee towards the end of Wolverine #75, explaining why he is leaving. Definitely an emotional moment for me when it comes to comics

I love this medium.

This was fantastic when it came out. I still enjoy going back to my longbox and pulling these comics out. I remember being 9 years old and actually being excited about the bone claws.

“I remember my teenage self actually having tears in my eyes reading that letter Logan leaves Jubilee towards the end of Wolverine #75, explaining why he is leaving. Definitely an emotional moment for me when it comes to comics

I love this medium.”

That was one of the best things about Logan losing his adamantium for a time. It served as part of the impetus for Jubilee to leave and join Generation X, which resulted in some of the best character exploration Jubilee’s ever gotten.

This was right around the time most, if not all, of the X-books were falling off in quality due to over saturation, gimmicks, a general downturn in quality (on one front or another) and an overall determination to treat the franchise as if it were an ATM. That said, it wasn’t all doom and gloom and this was, for me at the time, a fair effort.

I remember thinking the Kubert composition was good, but the finished art seemed very slapdash, and I stand by that opinion now looking back through some of the excerpts above.

I did like the state this left Wolverine in for a while, but do feel the opportunity was underutilized in some areas and overcooked in others.

Probably not the best person to ask about this — this was right about the time I was dropping the X-Books completely because I hated the direction they were taking.

The bone claws irked me because of the countless times over the years I’d read ‘solid adamantium’ used to describe them in those helpful yellow caption boxes (along with ‘bionic housings in his forearms’). Neither seemed to support him ever having bone claws, especially when they were sometimes drawn like thin blades (and not the bulky things they would have to have been to be bone claws laced with adamantium).

I know, that’s a really slim reed to hang a disagreement on, given the more blatant and contradictory retcons the characters have gone through over the decades. I just know that it felt wrong to me from the moment I first read it.

Thanks for letting me babble :)

I have always wanted to address this, so thanks for giving me the chance. What everyone seems to be missing her is that even at his MOST POWERFUL Mags was NEVER able to manipulate Adamantium to this level. it takes incredible heat to even keep the stuff liquid and once it cools its pretty much indestructible. In various comics from the X men continuity, it has been shown that magneto toss wolverine all over the place, but NEVER, and it has been commented on, never has he had the ability to change the physical state of adamantium, Let alone do something as drastic as rip it from wolverines skeleton. The 90′s was a rash of horrible writing inconsistent with previously established continuity.

dyuken, if I could like your comment 1,000 times I would. This entire thing is completely inconsistent with the long-established properties and strength of adamantium. For one, once it cools, it does not melt again, so Magneto pulling it out in liquid form through Logan’s pores is blindingly ludicrous. Ignoring that, for a minute, for Magneto to be able to affect the metal at this level puts him way beyond any of the Asgardian gods in terms of power level, which is inconsistent with previously established limitations.

Then there’s just a pet peeve of mine. Wolverine’s adamantium claws are always drawn as being flat, or thinly triangular. The bone claws are round and thickly lumpy. The bone claws, as depicted, would not have fit inside the metal claws.

The entire thing is idiotic.

What is truly idiotic is people here nitpicking and over-analysing this stuff down to subatomic levels. Magneto shouldn’t be able to yank the adamantium from Wolverine’s skeleton? Says who? For all we know, it would only take one story showing how maybe Magneto was able to improve his abilities prior to his fight with Wolverine and there you go, problem solved. This story happened because a) people always wondered why Magneto never tried to do this in the first place, considering his powers and b) people always questioned why Professor X never did something like this to an enemy in the first place as well. Aside from that, it was interesting to see Wolverine in such a fragile state. Fatal Attractions is not my favorite X-Men story but it’s far from bad. I think you people forget the TRULY bad X-Men stories.

Revolution? The Twelve? Zero Tolerance? Magnetic Wars? Brubaker’s run? Peter Milligan’s run? Chuck Austen’s run? Alan Davis’ run? I could go on.

This storyline was so bad I stopped buying the X titles. I’ll never buy into the bone claws.

I think the great proplem with this storyline,is that marvel just has to milk a good selling storyline to death,as they did with the spidy clone mess.It should have wrapped up with issue 100,but had to drag out another 45 issues.I stuck it out to issue 189.

Even as a kid I recall thinking “Well of course he has bone claws…his claws were always there, just coated in adamantium”

I remember buying those two issues from a friend of mine, out of his basement. A great two issues there. That image of Wolverine popping his bone claws for the first time is really something. Something classic, in my opinion. I was off and on the X-Men books at the time. I certainly should of read more, because that’s my kind of comics. The writing was pretty tight between titles. They really brought their all to it. Maybe it’s not ‘absolutely anything will happen and change’ that they did after the new century started, but that image of Wolverine and the story itself is certainly more effective that the Origins story. Weapon X is the only origin Wolverine ever really needed, anyway. That will be Wolverine to me, with or without the Adamantium. A very effective story. With writing like that an Spider-man Unmasking story or even if they HAD made Xavier a ‘full on’ villain in the Onslaught story would of been so big it would demolish everything else in the sales charts and be praised for years to come. Just my opinion.

I thought this was a clever idea and was good fun. But the problem was, like others said, some of the subsequent directly related storylines weren’t very good and it became a waiting game for him to get his adamantium back. I always wished adamantium had an element to it that Magneto had trouble controlling unlike other metals. I also wished it was like Cap’s serum and was unique to Wolverine. And I also wished I had a pet Wendigo.

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I haven’t read these in a very long time, but I recall thinking then that maybe Wolverine DIDN’T always have bone claws, but that his healing factor was reacting to losing something his body was used to having and GREW the claws to compensate. Of course, “Origin” killed that theory.

I enjoyed the arc, but the worst part about this was Xavier attacking Magneto and putting him into a coma directly set-up Onslaught.

ew.

Bone claws = stupid.

I ended up here after reading the darkly trippy ‘Dreams Brighten’ in the X-men GOLD and trying to figure what the heck it was about. I have come to beleive that it is a story that gives us the experience of Magneto’s mind disintegrating during the mind-wipe while foreshadowing Onslaught. So In trying to understand that illustrated bad trip I had to figure out this Fatal Attractions / Onslaught stuff.

The sheer ugliness of 1990s Marvel comics during this period is always surprising. That signature yellow is like an eye-seeking wasp and the character designs (especially the transvestite-like Jean) are that special brand of corporate soullessness.

The plot has the blandness of a typical Hollywood blockbuster – where constant explosions led to numbness. Magento’s quoting of Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus is as forced as Wolverine waking for death to save Jean. Strangely, the (a)moral lesson that ‘sometimes you just need to man up put on your battle-armor and mindrape the terrorists’ would become actual U.S foreign policy a decade late.

For unintentional comedy try the bottom of page 40 with a shirtless Magneto touching himself and moaning ‘Logan, Logan” as the back of Wolverine’s head is shown directly over his crotch. The cover also has strange sexual overtones.

But there are some nice touches.

Wolverine’s whole bardo experiences (with Illyana waiting for him!) is decent, as is his departure. Wolverine remains a surprisingly human character and the first post-adamantium claw sprouting manages somehow to combine the teenage shock and public embarrassment of erections, ejaculation and menstruation – Weird stuff. Colossus’s own departure, carrying Magneto’s mindless body, is poignant and I can hear the bricks of the Soviet Union’s own collapsing dream in the shadows.

I have only read X-Men #25, Wolverine #75, ‘Dreams Brighten’ and the essay ‘The Road to Onslaught’ on Xavier’s shadow-side and I’m satisfied. I believe any further reading of the Fatal Attractions/Onslaught arc would just be diminishing returns.

I remember reading Wolverine #75 when I was a kid: I don’t know what I would think of it if I had to read it now for the first time, but when it came out it BLEW MY MIND. I’d read it until the pages will fall off, I knew it by memory (I don’t know if I’ll ever forget Gambit’s line “Cette homme est un lion”, don’t know why), I even build a replica Blackbird with Lego so I could replay the story and add my own angle… in short, maybe because it came at the right time, maybe because it’s really good, but is one of my favorite episodes ever.

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